We asked people about the stories behind their security blankets

These days, there’s so much going on all the time. Online, everything’s fast; we dive from one meme, one social issue, one hot-button topic to the next like changing clothes. In real life, traffic’s too slow, school’s too much, and work follows you around. You can hardly pause to take a breath. But we learn to cope and find comfort in the only ways we know how. Turns out we can never really outgrow the concept of security blankets: things that ground us and bring us back to when everything was simple and clear.

Young STAR asked a few people about their security blankets, and here’s what they had to say:

“I’ve had this hot dog-shaped pillow ever since I was born. After the cotton stuffing inside came apart and left it loose in the middle, I fondly christened it as my ‘broken pillowlow.’ My favorite thing about it was the one pillowcase it always wore: a purple sheet printed with numbers, math operations, and bears in polka-dotted pajamas. It had the distinct smell of baby milk from all the drops I spilled on it. Even when we washed it, the smell never went away. I can’t remember where I stored the pillow so it’s only the sheet that remains now. I still find the same comfort when the pillows on my bed start losing their shape.” Martina Isabela Roces, 19

“She is Rafiki. I believe I’ve had her with me ever since. Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to play outside with the neighborhood kids, so I was quite lonely, but she made me feel less lonely. I’m 20 now, when I still feel that loneliness looming, I still find comfort in her, with open arms, and open eyes.”  Cheska Famatiga, 20

“Music has always been such a great part of my life that it’s one of the only things that I’m certain will make me feel okay at the end of the day. I used to dance a lot. Now, I sing a lot. But mostly, I listen to my ‘:(‘ playlist on Spotify a lot. It doesn’t even matter if I understand the song because music puts me at ease and makes me feel safe.” – Meg Guerrero, 20

“My security blanket was a stuffed animal named Dexter that I got as a gift from my tita when I was born. He was with me every single day for almost 20 years, and was like a partner to me growing up. I would bring him everywhere (including every single trip and sleepover) because he helped me calm down and sleep better, and I just found so much comfort in hugging him. Sadly, I lost him during a trip abroad a few years back. I still hope to find him, but if I never do, I hope he’s being taken good care of by someone else.”   Nikki Bonuel, 20

“2012 was a time of angst and anxiety for me as I typically glued my eyes to Tumblr. My mom bought this comfy Beatles hoodie for me and I got immediately attached to it. I would wear it on days I felt especially vulnerable, anxious for class, or when I’d need an extra blanket after a long night. When I wear it now, years later, it comforts me because it reminds me of all those sad times I overcame while clinging to it.” – Andie Bernas, 20

“Once, after a particularly bad dream, I looked outside my bedroom window and saw a star that blinked red and blue. This was the same star I’d see after getting my heart broken, and the same star I’d see while driving home with my partner 10 years later. Things change, people grow and nightmares become funny stories you tell your friends. But stars watch over you for millions of years outside your bedroom window. (Or maybe they just don’t care, but I like to think they do.)”  Alissa Bantigue, 25